• Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Scumbling (Fine Arts) A mode of obtaining a softened effect, in painting and drawing, by the application of a thin layer of opaque color to the surface of a painting, or part of the surface, which is too bright in color, or which requires harmonizing.
    • Scumbling (Fine Arts) In crayon drawing, the use of the stump.
    • Scumbling The color so laid on. Also used figuratively. "Shining above the brown scumbling of leafless orchards."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n scumbling In painting, the operation of lightly rubbing a brush charged with a small quantity of an opaque or semi-opaque color over the surface, in order to soften and blend tints that are too bright, or to produce some other special effect. Owing to the dryness of the brush, it deposits the color in minute granules on the ground-tint instead of covering it completely as in glazing.
    • n scumbling In chalk - and pencil-drawing, the operation of lightly rubbing the blunt point of the chalk over the surface, or spreading and softening the harder lines by the aid of the stump.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Scumbling a mode of obtaining a softened effect in painting by overlaying too bright colours with a very thin coating of a neutral tint
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Freq. of scum.


In literature:

A middle tone having been scumbled over the whole, the lights are now painted.
"The Practice and Science Of Drawing" by Harold Speed
There is none of the scumbling and glazing and re-working so common in the English portraits of the time.
"McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908" by Various
In his latest stage he hides all sharpness in a sort of scumble or haze.
"The Venetian School of Painting" by Evelyn March Phillipps
Glazing, as well as scumbling, implies the obligation to varnish your picture.
"The Painter in Oil" by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
While this was going on, Edmund had been scumbling angrily at the background of his picture.
"The Serapion Brethren." by Ernst Theordor Wilhelm Hoffmann
Immediately afterwards, mixing up some colour sparingly, he scumbled over the entire surface of the portrait.
"Tales of the Wonder Club, Volume II" by Alexander Huth
When all is dry, finish the picture with scumbles (spegazzi), adding yellow to complete the colour.
"The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton" by Mrs. Russell Barrington
He had a firm direct stroke, never niggled or scumbled, and his loading was restrained though very effective.
"Art Principles" by Ernest Govett